Robotic F.A.C.E. (which stands for Facial Alerting in a Communication Environment) is exploring the use of a physical object in the form of a face as a means of user interaction, taking advantage of socially intuitive facial expressions.
We have built an interface to an expressive robotic head (based on the mechanics of a commercial robotic toy) that allows the use of socially strong non-verbal facial cues to alert and notify. The head, which can be controlled via a serial protocol, is capable of expressing most basic emotions not only in a static way, but also as dynamic animation loops that vary some parameter, e.g., activity, over time.
Robotic F.A.C.E. is intended to be used by different applications. One of them is ListenIn, which by itself provides an auditory indication of activity. Robotic F.A.C.E. extends ListenIn with a non-screen based and non-auditory user interface, taking advantage of socially intuitive facial expressions.
Short demo videos:
Degrees of freedom [MPG4] (588KB)
Nonspeech activity alert for ListenIn [MPG4] (511KB)
Speech activity alert for ListenIn [MPG4] (655KB)
Robotic F.A.C.E. website